Germany 1, England 0… or is it?
The 2013 F1 season has been dominated by the sheer driving skill of one driver, Sebastian Vettel. The Brazilian GP saw him take his ninth consecutive win of the season, and he has just won his fourth driver world championship to boot. Whether you admire him or loath him, there is no getting away from the fact that over the last couple of seasons we have seen one of the greats of F1 emerging.
So where does this leave the British contingent? We have seen McLaren struggle this season, but with Jenson Buttons 4th place in last Sundays GP, this has left the McLaren team optimistic. With the change in engines to the 1.6-litre V6 turbo-charged power train, McLaren are seeing this as a clean slate for all the teams, but I for one think they have a long way to go. Even with the engine changes, I still don’t think they can match the Red Bulls, or even the flat-out speed of Ferrari.
Lewis Hamilton recorded a win in Hungary for the Mercedes team, and helped them to secure 2nd place in the constructors championships for 2013. Despite this though, Hamilton admits that he feels he should have done more for them as he knows he did not perform anywhere close to his best. He did however praise the Mercedes team for a strong show in 2013, and stated there is more to come from him in 2014.
As in any sport most of the focus in F1 is on the top teams and the people who drive for them. If I mention the name Max Chilton to you, unless you are an avid F1 fan, you may not know who I am talking about. Chilton, who drives for Marussia, has competed in and completed every grand Prix this season. In the recent poll in the Guardian newspaper, which was based on where drivers are in order of performance rather than points, Max Chilton was ranked one place higher than a certain Fernando Alonso.
As for teams we have Williams and Caterham who are both looking to make more of an impact with all the changes coming to the sport in 2014. We may not dominate the sport in the way we used to, but British involvement in formula one is still as strong as ever.
One thing you may not be aware of is the role the Brits play in track safety at any GP weekend. Those people you see in orange overalls at the side of track waving flags, helping to clear broken down, or crashed cars off the track are race marshals. Race marshals are all volunteers who have been trained in the various safety rules and regulations that need to be enforced, and carried out during a race weekend.
British based marshals are often invited to races being held in various parts of the world, due to the high level of training they have received, and their expertise. So next time you see one of these brave men or women waving a coloured flag, or helping to lift a car from the track, spare a thought for their commitment to the sport.
A German driver may have dominated the 2013 season, but 2014 could be a real game changer for the British drivers and teams. But never write off the Red Bulls, Ferrari, or a certain, one finger waving German driver named Vettel.